Friday, March 30, 2012

The Peeps Have Arrived

You either love them or hate them.  Right?  I am one of those that love them so my mother each year manages to gift me with Peeps.  Don't ask me how many are gone already!!

It's been another delightfully busy week from this end.  We managed to take a couple of days to visit my brother and SIL who live a few hours north from us.  They are in the Central Coast wine country so we always end up doing a bit of wine tasting while we are there.  It was a delightful day and we were thrilled to sit out and soak up the warm sun.

Greeters at one of the wineries.  So cute!

Check out this make believe bird feeder at one of the wineries.  I really think I could make this a real feeder with a few adjustments. 

We also visited a car/air museum.  They actually had a plane that my husband flew when we were in the Navy.  He had to land this thing on an aircraft carrier!!!  It was a delight to see it restored and looking just like it did when he flew it.  The nickname for it is "the Stoof" (in real aircraft language it is a S-2).

BIL, sister, brother, SIL, DH
We enjoyed three grandsons and one dog for the weekend.  In spite of the rainy Sunday, we got a little kite flying in too.  Rainy day session included many wicked games of Hearts while snacking on popcorn.

I only managed one good day of sewing, but I did accomplish a few projects.  I made an Easter dress which will eventually have a pinafore to go with it and a couple of mug rugs. 

The garden has also been beckoning.  The rain has brought lots of weeds that need to be pulled, but the flowers are really popping right now.

First bloom starting on my cactus that I started from a paddle a few years ago.

Lastly...the winner of the BINGO card was Carmen.  She has received it and I am excited to see how she does with the BINGO game.

BTW...What do you think of the new Blogger interface?  I tried it, but switched back again.  It kept telling me that I could not leave comments and I really did not like how you follow blogs.  I'm sure they will probably make us all switch over soon.  SIGH!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sew and Such

Although the temperatures are not reflecting the event, spring has arrived.  Both the male and female orioles have returned - the earliest we have ever recorded them doing so.  We had a winter storm blow through over the weekend and I am certain that they must be reconsidering their decision.  We are, however, thrilled to see the bright yellow flashes at the feeders.  I've also noticed a great increase in the number of hummingbirds.  Summer must follow soon.

After the challenges that I encountered with my Feathered Star block last week, I decided to tackle the Mariner's Compass a little differently.  I sewed this one by hand.  I have also hated the hand applique since I never felt that I was any good at it.  I am learning new skills and it is definitely improving the applique look on my blocks. 

I've been a slacker in starting my NY Beauty blocks so I decided to dive into them.  I have chosen batiks for this project since I have quite a few of them.    I still have four more blocks to do before the next set comes out, but I think I can make it. 

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our next grandbaby who is due in about a week and a half.  She has gone early with the other two, but this one seems to want to stay put for awhile.  Meanwhile we enjoy  our littlest guy.  He is growing so quickly and is the BEST baby. 

Since it sounds like most places are enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures, I hope you can all get out and enjoy them this week. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

This and That

It has been a wonderfully busy week, but I do sometimes feel as though I am chasing my tail.  I am definitely enjoying these longer hours of daylight.  I always dread when we turn the clocks ahead and know that we have darkness so early.  Spring is in the air and I LOVE it.   My male orioles have returned and the females should soon be following.  I get a chuckle out of the males returning ahead of the females to settle in and start the nests.  I wonder if the females ever get back and question what he was thinking.

Over the weekend we had the christening of our newest grandson.  It is always a delight and a great reason to celebrate. 

Monday we had three sons in Las Vegas for a big food and beverage convention so DH and I drove over, met them for dinner, donated a few dollars and drove home the next morning.  I was disappointed that the desert flowers were not in bloom yet as we both love to see the showy colors.  Guess it was a bit early for them. 

I love this lobby.  Don't you think the floor would make a great quilt?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining several of the grandchildren and my daughter at the zoo.  It is always such fun to see little eyes in wonderment.   They have just opened up a new reptile and invertebrate display and it is wonderful.  You feel as though you are swimming with the turtles. 

Such beauty!

This little guy is 6 months old and had captured the hearts of all.  Gotta love the wind blown hair!

We celebrated several birthdays in the family this week as well. 

Mr. J is eight.

Seems like only yesterday our first son was born.
I would so love to be able to wear a hat so beautifully.
 The week also included some sewing.  I worked on my blocks for the It Takes 2 project.  I think I took out more stitches than I put in on my Feathered Star.  If there was a wrong way to sew a seam - I found it.  Since much of the block is done in quarters, I sewed the wrong seams not only once, but four times!!!!  I am GLAD it is finished and I do love the way it turned out, but do not think I will be making a full sized quilt of that block any time soon. 

My March mug rug arrived from my partner, Shari Butler.  I like the fact that it is not specifically for St. Patrick's Day and I can leave it out past that day.  I tried to do a similar thing with my own partner's mug rug.  I just love the fabrics and the design of the one Shari sent me.  Shari is a fabric and textile designer and has a wonderful blog with her fabrics shown.

Also arriving in the mail this week was this wonderful selection of threads from Connecting Threads.  I won these in a giveaway hosted by Stephanie at Loft Creations.  The colors are so rich and beautiful and will really come in handy with my sewing. 

If you haven't yet signed up for the Blog Hop Giveaway, be sure to check out my previous post.  It runs until March 23rd.

St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop Party

Welcome to a stop along the way of your blog hopping!

My giveaway is open to all of my followers and is for a Bingo Card quilt.  If you have not heard about the B-I-N-G-O game yet please check it out here.  If you want to play along, I will include the information about your card so that you can register it.  If you don't want to play along, you will just be able to enjoy a mini quilt.  Then again, if you want to play along and don't want the prize should you can send it to me!!!  ;~)  I'm always willing to help out!!

Good luck and be sure to check out all of the other blogs at Quilting Gallery for other giveaways.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Is everybody ready for a fun BINGO game?  May For Me is going to happen in May (of course) and a part of it will be a BINGO game.  First of all you need to make a bingo card.  This little project sounded right up my alley. 

I have participated in several I Spy swaps through Sandra so I was ready to sort through some of them to find the right colors.  The mini quilt itself was very easy to construct and you can find a great tutorial on making one here.  It went up so quickly and was so much fun that I made a second one for the big Blog Hop Party giveaway  on St. Patrick's Day.  Be sure to check back on the 17th for a chance to win one. 

The Master list on my card will read:

B                I                N                   G                        O

flags         bees           apples            ladybugs                ribbons
cats          spider         boots             puzzles                  mice
owls         birds           free                cows                    letters
stars         rulers          dogs             cars/trucks             butterflies
frogs        shoes           leaves           tractors                  flowers              

Since I used swapped blocks in my BINGO cards I am going to submit my project to Thearica's Swap Party for March.   Be sure to sign up for it if you make a BINGO card using swapped blocks.

Of course it was not all fun sewing because I did a really nutty thing.  I sandwiched both of the quilts and had them on the cutting table on top of each other.  I then went to the machine to quilt it, quilted the entire thing thinking "Boy, this is thick".  Duh!!!!  Went to grab the next quilt and could not find it.  Yep....I quilted them both together.  There was a lot of un-sewing to do.  Ugh!!  Please tell me you have done something stupid like that too.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Since I have no clue how to put my widget on my post, I took a picture of it to show the winner.  Congratulations to Samantha!

We've had a busy week around here, but again, the sewing has been on the back burner.  I did manage to complete a gift.  This darling little lunch tote was from a tutorial from the Pink Penguin.  I made a few changes in the way I sewed it up, but I think it turned out just great and was an easy pattern to sew up. 

We celebrated my mom's birthday this week as well.  My sister, brother and their spouses fixed dinner at her house and we had a fabulous time bringing in her next year - her 90th!!!!  Doesn't she look great?

Recently, I attended a cooking class from Carol Kotkin so I volunteered to bring a salad for the party and it was really yummy.  You start with layer of sliced and peeled oranges (I used the navals and some of the blood oranges from the garden.)

Top that with layers of sliced fennel bulb, sliced red onion. freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and Kalamata olives. Drizzle olive oil over the top and it is finished.  I used a tangerine infused olive oil which was very good, but the plain is just fabulous too.

Have you heard about Thearica's monthly swap block contest?  Don't you all have blocks that you have swapped and then never finished up into a quilt?  Well....this is for you.  It MUST be swap blocks and you must photograph your progress of assembling them.  Once it is a completed quilt - binding and all - you can submit it to Thearica's blog.  At the end of each month she will select a name and the prizes are FANTASTIC.  I won January's  contest and received a $50 gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop AND a $20 gift certificate to Thearica's shop.  Pretty awesome, wouldn't you say?  Why don't you join us for March.

Quilting Gallery is having a pillow contest this week for quilted pillows.  You can vote for five different ones this week and I have entered my Cathedral Windows pillow.  The work on all of them is gorgeous and you can vote here if you are interested.

We've had some cool winter weather here this week, but we are suppose to jump up into the upper 70s for the weekend.  I am looking forward to it.  I wish I could send some nice weather to the poor folks who have been hurt by the terrible tornadoes this week.  It surely seems like an early start to tornado season to me.